SEN and Inclusion Policy

Policy for Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Inclusion

Rationale (beliefs shared by the setting regarding SEN)

Filton Avenue Nursery School is committed to providing a high-quality care and education to all children.  We believe that all children, including those identified as having special education needs, have a common entitlement to a broad and balanced academic and social curriculum that is accessible to them and to be fully included in all aspects of the Centre.

We believe that all children should be equally valued in our Centre.  We will strive to eliminate prejudice and discrimination and to develop an environment where all children can flourish and feel safe. We value, respect and work in accordance with the special needs code of practice (DfES Sept 2014)

The centre is committed to inclusion. We strive to develop policies and practices that include all children and their families.

Our admissions policy reflects our beliefs that no child with SEN will be discriminated against. We aim to engender a sense of community and belonging and to offer new opportunities to all children and their families who may have experienced previous difficulties. This means that we respond to children and their families in ways that take account of their varied lives, experiences and needs.

We believe that educational inclusion is about equal opportunities for all children and their families whatever their age, gender, ethnicity, impairment, attainment and background.  We pay particular attention to the provision for and the achievement of different groups of children and their families:

  • girls and boys, men and women
  • minority ethnic and faith groups, travellers, asylum seekers and refugees
  • learners who need support to learn English as an additional language (EAL)
  • learners with special educational needs
  • learners who are disabled
  • those who are looked after by the local authority
  • others such as those who are sick; those who are young carers; those who are in families under stress; pregnant school girls and teenage mothers
  • any children who are at risk of disaffection and exclusion

This policy describes the way we meet the needs of children who experience barriers to their learning which may relate to sensory or physical impairment, learning difficulties or emotional or social development or may relate to factors in their environment – including the learning environment they experience in the centre.

We recognise that children learn at different rates and that there are many factors affecting achievement, including; ability, emotional state, age and maturity.  We believe that many children, at some time may experience difficulties which affect their learning and we recognise that these may be long or short term.

Please refer to the SEND core offer on our website and also to the Bristol City Council core offer for SEND.

The SEN and Inclusion Governor is Kate Irvine

Objectives of the policy

  • To ensure the SEN and Disability Discrimination Acts and relevant Codes of Practice and guidance are implemented effectively across the centre.
  • To ensure equality of opportunity to eliminate prejudice and discrimination against children identified with ‘special educational needs’
  • To continually monitor the progress of all pupils to identify needs as they arise and to provide support as early as possible.
  • To provide full access to the curriculum through differentiated planning by room teachers, key persons, Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) and support staff as appropriate.
  • To provide specific input, matched to individual needs, in addition to differentiated provision, for those children identified as having SEN through the graduated response system as in the new code of practice.
  • To ensure that children with SEN are perceived positively by all members of the Centre and that SEN and inclusive provision is positively valued and accessed by staff and parents/carers.
  • To involve parents/carers at every stage in plans to meet their child’s additional needs.
  • To involve the children themselves in planning and in any decision making that affects them where possible.
  • To enable children to move on from us well equipped for the transition process to their next setting.
Working in Partnership with Parents and Carers   


It is important to develop a mutually respectful relationship with parents and carers, valuing the knowledge that they have of their child and acknowledging that every child is unique. Working in partnership will ensure that families feel involved in their child’s care and feel comfortable to express their thoughts and feelings. We are aware that in some cases support may be needed to do this, for example, a translator maybe required.

  • Staff and parents/carers work together to support children identified as having additional needs.
  • Parents/carers are involved at all stages of the education planning process. An appointment is made by the key person and SENCo to meet all parents/carers whose children are being recorded as having additional needs. 
  • In partnership with parents we focus on the child’s strengths and any areas for development are discussed. The conversation focuses on achievable shared goals which enable a consistent approach at home and at the centre that meets the child’s needs.
  • Ideas and materials for supporting learning at home will be discussed and shared with parents and carers for example; visual timetables.
  • Parents/carers and key person go away from the meeting clear about the action to be taken and the way in which outcomes will be monitored and reviewed.
  • Support plan targets may include targets to work towards at home, and parents/carers are always invited to contribute their views to the review process. Support plans will be copied and given to parents/carers after the meetings.

NB: We will be mindful of the amount of professionals involved with families and ensure that the most relevant staff members only are involved.

Role of the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo)   

Liz Williams ( pp Sarah Woodfield) is the named Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) at Filton Avenue Nursery School and Children’s Centre.

The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (2014) states that SENCo’s should have responsibility for:                                                       

  • providing up to date and relevant information with regards to the Code of Practice.
  • advising and supporting all staff in identifying children with Special Educational Needs.
  • supporting staff with meeting these children’s needs.
  • liaising with parents and other professionals in respect of children with special educational needs (SEN)
  • working with parents and staff to implement SEND Support including ensuring that support plans are in place where appropriate
  • identifying training needs of staff both to extend their own professional development and to ensure ‘tailor made’ training which is need specific is available when appropriate.
  • ensuring that relevant background information about individual children with SEN is collected, recorded and updated
  • ensuring that appropriate support plans are in place.

The roles and responsibilities of staff working with children with Special Education Needs (SEN) are as follows:

In conjunction with parents, write Support plans –SENCo, Room Teacher and Key Person;

Monitoring of support plans– Key Person in conjunction with LSA

Annual Reviews- SENCo, Key Person and Room Teacher;

EHCP -SENCo, Key Person and Room Teacher;

Funding applications – SENCo;

Transitions – SENCo, Room Teacher and Key Person

Team around the child meetings – SENCo and Key Person; Resourcing – visuals, PECS etc – SENCo, Key Person

Identification and Assessment Arrangements, Monitoring and Review Procedures   


The Centre’s system for regularly observing, assessing and recording the progress of all children is used to identify children who are not progressing and who may have additional needs.

The Centre gathers information from:

  • Entry, mid year and exit assessments
  • Early Years Outcomes and Differentiated Early Years Outcomes
  • Autism assessment framework
  • Wellcomm language screening tool and BRISCC
  • Progress reviews with parents/carers
  • Ongoing Parent voice
  • Observations
  • An existing EHCP
  • Assessments by a specialist service such as Health, Educational Psychology, Speech Therapist identifying additional needs
  • Another setting which has identified or has provided for additional needs

Based on the setting’s observations and assessment data and following discussions that involve the key person, SENCo and parent, the setting follows the Graduated response as recommended within the Code of Practice:

Step 1     Key person completes detailed observations of child    
Step 1      Key person gathers detailed information from parents/carers    
Step 2       Key person, in discussion with room leader ensures that curriculum is being differentiated    
Step 2       Key person selects further strategies to support child informed by observation    
Step 3      If further support is needed, the room leader and key person discuss the child’s needs with parents/carers and SENCo to develop a Bristol Support plan (or other agreed evidence based) intervention.      
Step 3       Progress and areas for development at SEND support level are reviewed    
Step 4      If there continue to be concerns regarding progress, the SENCo can make a referral to an outside agency in partnership with parents/carers    
Step 5      Bristol support plan is written incorporating outside agency advice    
Step 6      If required, a support plan is written and an application made for additional funding by the SENCo.    
Step 7      If required, the statutory process of EHC needs assessmentis started.  

Differentiated Curriculum Provision

Every child is unique with a unique set of needs. These are identified and differentiated learning opportunities are planned for throughout the child’s sessions at the centre. Next steps are identified by the key person to ensure their needs are met and progress made.

The differentiation may involve modifying learning intentions, teaching styles, providing different materials/resources and access strategies.

Under these circumstances, a child’s needs will be provided for within the whole group planning frameworks and individual target setting, as well as work time planning. 

Monitoring observations of progress will be carried out by the room leader/ key person and used to inform future planning and recorded in learning diaries.

The child’s progress is reviewed regularly and a decision made about whether the provision and strategies in place are supporting progress towards the targets set at this level of intervention.

Where a period of differentiated curriculum support has not resulted in the child making progress or where the nature of level of a child’s needs are unlikely to be met by such an approach, provision at the SEND Support level may need to be made.

SEND Support

When a child is identified as having additional needs that are not met using a differentiated curriculum, then a support plan (or other evidence based interventions) is drafted by the room leader, key person and SENCo in partnership with the parent. This involves setting SMART targets.

The interventions maybe to provide some individual or group support or to provide different learning resources or specialist equipment which will enable the child to participate, learn and progress.

Strategies employed that enable a child to progress should be recorded on the support plan.

Observations (monitoring) will be carried out on a regularly and used to inform the review using the centre’s standard proforma by the key person/additional support in conjunction with room leader.  Significant achievements and challenges will be recorded.

Support plans will be reviewed according to the dates set (usually every 4-6 months) by key person and parents and SENCo/room leader.  The SENCo or room leader will lead the review meeting and outcomes reviewed prior to setting new targets if needed.

As part of the review process, the SENCo and key person/room leader, in consultation with the parents/carers, may conclude that, despite receiving an individualised programme and/or concentrated support for a considerable period, the child continues to have significant needs which are not being met by current interventions.  Where this is the case, a decision may be made to request input from outside agencies.

The involvement of external support services is requested to provide advice on support plans and targets, provide more specialised assessments, give advice on the use of new or specialist strategies or materials and in some cases provide support for particular activities.

At this point the child would be recorded on the setting’s SEN register. 

The specialist services will contribute, as appropriate, to the planning, monitoring and reviewing of the child’s progress.

Non Statutory EHCP and additional funding

For some children further additional support maybe required. Additional funding or specialist equipment to provide support at this stage can be applied for through the Early Years SEN panel. The funding is available to early year’s settings to enable children identified with SEN to fully access the EYFS.  Evidence will need to be provided to show the interventions progressing.  A non-statutory EHCP or support plan will be written to support this involving all concerned.

EHCP statutory

If required, the statutory process will commence.  Refer to the following website for more information.


When children move on to another setting we invite the new setting to visit the child at our setting and to have a handover discussion with the key person/SENCo.  We also visit the receiving setting and produce a photographic book if appropriate for the child to enable the transition to be talked through in our setting and at home prior to their move.

Any relevant documentation is passed on, for example; the last BSSP and monitoring, reports from outside agencies etc. The child’s learning diary is passed to the parents/carers. When a child starts at nursery with outside agencies already involved such as portage a transition handover meeting is held.

Levels of Support for Transfer

The level of support needed at transfer will depend on the specific needs of the child transferring and how additional and different the provision will need to be.

Our setting’s arrangements for SEN and Inclusion CPD.   

The SENCo will attend regular cluster meetings to update and revise developments in Special Needs Education and Inclusion.

Inclusion is considered each year as part of the School and Centre Development Plan.  CPD and individual professional development is arranged to support our priorities.

Additional CPD opportunities are delivered by relevant professionals as necessary.

All staff have access to professional development opportunities.

Staff members are encouraged to extend their own professional development and the leadership team will ensure ‘tailor made’

The Complaints Procedure  

If a parent wishes to complain about the provision or the policy, they should, in the first instance, raise it with their key person who will try to resolve the situation. The Key Person may raise the issue with the Room leader and SENco who can work in partnership with the parent to resolve the situation.

If the issue cannot be resolved within 10 working days, the parent can submit a formal complaint to the Head teacher in writing or any other accessible format. The Head teacher will reply within 10 working days.

Any issues that remain unresolved at this stage will be managed according to the setting’s Complaints Policy. This is available on request from our office.

Partnership working

If appropriate a member of the Inclusion Team will visit to observe children, and liaise with staff to develop strategies and targets for the children.

The SENCo liaises frequently with a number of other outside agencies, for example:

Community Paediatrician

Speech and Language Therapist

The Bristol Autism team


Occupational Therapy

Portage and inclusion team.

Parents are always informed if an outside agency is involved.

Policy written: October 2011

Revised September 2023